Here is a recipe I prepared last week for a dinner party with Mike Meldman, co owner of the casa amigos tequila brand.  This was one of 6 courses I served on this particular evening.  This was the only meat of the evening.  Since Jp and a lot of others seem to be steering away from red meat I’m always look for alternative to serve in the poultry or game category. Here is a very french style quail recipe. Here it is I hope you enjoy it!

16 whole quail legs cut off and breast deboned with skin intact

Quail leg mousse
6 oz of thigh leg meat
1 egg white
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp of tarragon fresh leaves
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Quail Jus
16 quail carcasses
1 leek
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 small fennel
6 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 bay leaves, 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig of oregano
2 cups of red wine
12-14 cups of water
2 tbsp of cornstarch
2 tbsp of water
salt to taste

Fennel purée
2 large fennel bulbs sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp cream
Salt

1 cup of baby turnips
1 cup of duck fat
1 sprig of thyme
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp of salt

Roasted fennel
1 large fennel sliced thin
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 sprig of savory
salt and pepper to taste

Fennel pollen to garnish

For the Quail,

For the mousse. Making sure all the equipment and food is very cold (place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Take some of the leg meat off the bone and place in the food processor along with garlic, and herbs.  Puree until smooth, then while food processor is still running add egg white and then drizzle in the cream.  Season with salt and pepper and then place in the refrigerator.

Then for the quail breast. Place the deboned quail breast skin side down on your cutting board. (should be 2 breast from each quail) Then spoon or pipe the mousse in the middle of the 2 quail breast.  Then using the plastic wrap and your hands roll the quail up into a tiny log with the skin on the outside the breast and filling on the inside.  Using the plastic wrap roll as tight as can be and tie or twist up both ends.  Then place in a sous vide bag. Repeat until you have all of the breast rolled filled. Seal up the sous vide bag air tight with 3 tbsp of butter.   Place in the refrigerator for an hour to help firm up if you have the time.  Other wise place in a 135 degrees water bath for 45-55 min.   Then take out and rest.

For the Quail Jus,

Place bones on a sheet pan and brown in an 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Then take vegetables and brown in a stock pot with a little bit of olive oil until they are caramelized (15 minutes).  Add garlic and herbs and cook for another few minutes.  Then add bones to the pot along with the wine and reduce by half. Meanwhile deglaze the sheet pan with some water to get all of the bits from the roasting pan off and pour into the pot as well.  Fill the pot with the rest of the water. Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.  Reduce by 3/4.  Thicken the jus slightly with the cornstarch slurry by slowly pouring into the stock stirring continuously with a whisk. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season with salt, strain and set aside.  Keep warm.

For the Fennel Puree,

In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil, butter, sliced fennel, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. The fennel should not have any color when they are done. You can add the 1-2 tbsp of cream at the end of the cooking process. Once they are done, place in a vitamix and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if need be, set aside and keep warm

For the fennel,

Place the fennel on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive. Season with salt, pepper, and a sprig of savory. Place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes and then flip over. The fennel should be golden brown. Roast on the second side for another 10-15 minutes until tender. Take out and set aside 

For the Turnips

Place baby turnips and the rest of the quail legs along with, garlic, herbs, and duck fat into a small pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a very very soft simmer. Cover and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes until the turnips and legs are tender. Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

In saute pan add a little duck fat on medium high heat. Take the quail out of the bag and season with salt and pepper. Place in the pan along with the cooked legs, to brown on all sides (about 3-5 minutes). Take out and let it rest on a cutting board. Meanwhile place a spoonful of fennel puree on the plate with some of the roasted fennel and turnips. Cut each quail “log” in half. Place 3 halves on each plate along with 2 legs. Finish with some of the jus and garnish with fennel buds. Serve and enjoy!

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